Movie News & Reviews

Film Picks: A Mel Brooks double feature at the Carolina Theatre

From left, Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in the 1974 “Blazing Saddles.”
From left, Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in the 1974 “Blazing Saddles.” Warner Bros. / Neal Peters Collection

Friday night in Durham, the Carolina Theatre’s Retrotreasures film series presents a double feature entitled “Mel Brooks: Free Bird Seed,” consisting of two of the legendary comedy director’s most outrageous spoofs. First up, Brooks’ 1974 classic “Blazing Saddles,” which was recently voted the #7 funniest screenplay ever by the Writer’s Guild of America. The hilarious Western parody stars Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman and Brooks himself in two roles. That’s followed by “History of the World: Part 1” (1981), a raunchy comic anthology starring Brooks, Korman, Gregory Hines and Dom DeLuise, with narration by Orson Welles (who incidentally, is feautured in each of this week’s picks).

The double bill begins at 7 and admission is $9. Details: 919-560-3030 or festivals.carolinatheatre.org/retrofantasma.

Other highlights

  • Friday night, The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh continues their Fall Films series with Orson Welles’ immortal 1941 classic “Citizen Kane,” starring Welles and his Mercury Theatre Players. The film shows in the newly redesigned SECU Auditorium, starting at 7:30 p.m. with an introduction by NCMA film curator Laura Boyes. Tickets are $7 ($5 for students and NCMA members). Details: 919-715-5923 or ncartmuseum.org.
  • Friday through Tuesday, the run of Carol Reed’s 1949 thriller “The Third Man,” which features Orson Welles in a crucial role, is extended at the Colony Theater in Raleigh due to popular demand. Admission is $9 ($7.50 for matineesFriday-Sunday). Details: 919-847-5677 or ambassadorcinemas.com.
  • Sunday at 2 p.m., The Cary Theater in downtown Cary presents one of Orson Welles’ lesser known yet still essential works, the 1946 film noir thriller “The Stranger,” co-starring Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young. Admission is $5. Details: 919-462-2051 or thecarytheater.com.
  Comments